Originally created 02/22/06

La Costa Resort, PGA will go separate ways



CARLSBAD, Calif. - Players weren't always pampered on the PGA Tour.

There was a time when they had to buy a bag of range balls, share the cost of rental cars and even pay for their meals before tournaments started to treat them like royalty. That's what made La Costa Resort so special.

"This was where you wanted to be," Davis Love III said. "They were the first ones who really made it a special week for your family, because it was a great place to stay, they treated the wives great with all the shops and spas, we had courtesy cars. You wanted to start your year at La Costa."

The resort has been part of the PGA Tour landscape since 1969 when it played host to the Tournament of Champions. It later became the Mercedes Championships and stayed until 1999. The tournament moved to Kapalua that year, and La Costa became home to the Accenture Match Play Championship.

Now, that's about to end.

The Match Play Championship is expected to move to Tucson, Ariz., next year. If La Costa gets another professional tournament, it won't be the PGA Tour.

"It's just unfortunate they couldn't work a deal out," Tiger Woods said. "It has a lot of sentimental value to me."

MAJOR TASK: Colin Montgomerie is aware that a European has not won a major since Paul Lawrie at the 1999 British Open, and he thinks he knows why.

"Tiger takes two of them," he said. "So only leaves two for everyone else."

Woods has won nine of the 25 majors since Lawrie won. Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen and Phil Mickelson each have won two.

"If you give one to Phil, Ernie (Els) and Vijay and Retief, that only leaves one, doesn't it?" he said. "It's tough now, isn't it? If you look at it statistically, that's what should happen. ... You've only got one to go with. And it's got to be your day, your time."

STAT OF THE WEEK: Five of the top 20 players in the world ranking are in their 20s, although none is an American - Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, Luke Donald, Rory Sabbatini and Henrik Stenson.